Regular followers of this blog know that there are few things the author finds more appealing than road trips and family reunions. Last summer, the Rempes (one member less than the current contingent) embarked upon a trek across the Midwest to visit family members of both clans. We went to zoos, stayed with a great aunt, visited a great grandfather, and took a ferry across Lake Michigan before even arriving at our ultimate destination – our family reunion in Wisconsin.* Despite long hours in the (somewhat funky smelling) car, nights spent together in single rooms not designed for families of five, and stops at restaurants still waiting to receive their first Michelin star, the journey was quite delightful.
Beth and I are both blessed with the rarest of gifts – families that we love and with whom we enjoy spending time. Knowing so many friends who have strained family ties, and who shudder at the thought of prolonged contact with relatives, we do not take such a blessing for granted. Rather, we embrace the strong family ties that do exist, and take all the opportunities we can to make sure that our kids are building the same close relationships that we have with our siblings, parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles.
The recent Labor Day weekend provided just such an opportunity for family building. A friend suggested that all the Rempes – Mama Rempe included – attend the family camp at Young Life’s Rockbridge Alum Springs camp in western Virginia. Realizing that this would be a great chance to a) hang out with some old friends whom I haven’t seen in close to 20 years; b) introduce our newest arrival to some of his cousins, aunts, and uncles; and c) do it on a Young Life property, I quickly made the reservations. Doing so required Beth to move her regular weekend shifts at the hospital to mid-week to accommodate it, and for me to take some time off for the week to accommodate that, but I figured the long weekend would be worth it.
And it was.